Dealing with a dog with Megaesophagus is not the end of the world. Meet @All_About_Princey
About two weeks ago Michelle of Michelle McCowen Photography and I had the pleasure to meet a cute little guy that I met on Instagram. The first time I saw Prince’s photo, he was sitting on his Baily Chair. I knew what that meant, because previously a friend of mine that works rescuing dogs, encountered a hard time finding a dog that has the same condition as Prince. Today, we are honoured to have Prince’s mom as a guest blogger. Prince is a happy boy surrounded by love. He enjoys making new friends and attention…oh boy, specially when he gets to sit on his chair for 20 minutes. Dealing with a dog with Megaesophagus is not the end of the world.
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Hello! My name is Suzi. My husband and I have always talked about wanting a dog. There were two English Bulldogs that my husband loved seeing at our old condo so he decided, one random day to make a drive up to Markham to take a look at some puppies. At the time we were living in London, Ontario. I thought we were just going to look at puppies..until we saw little Prince. Being first time dog owners, we had no clue dogs could get sick. We’re soo thankful that we have Prince in our lives because he has taught us to be more patient. It was such a scary feeling almost losing him from aspiration pneumonia. We are definately more cautious at home, making sure there is absolutely nothing on the ground for him to eat. He may be a bully, but he sure is quick to get any type of food! Ha ha.
I made an Instagram for Prince because I came across other Bulldog pages on my news feed. I am glad I did because I ended up meeting Prince’s other brother, Royce. (@rolling_royce) Royce also has a disability. Royce’s owner Nikki and I think they’re from the same litter. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have known about the company we purchased our dogs from. Prince also has a sister with the same condition. We also suspect she’s from the same litter. (All three have different birthdays, but very close in dates) Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything to try and shut the puppy mill down because we didn’t have enough evidence. It’s unfortunate, but we are all very thankful that we have them in our lives. Prince has changed our lives for the better and we love every day spent with him!
Prince is a 2 year old English Bulldog with a condition called Megaesophagus. Megaesophagus means his esophagus is enlarged. The muscles of the esophagus gradually enlarge, like a balloon. These enlarged muscles are unable to propel food into the stomach to be digested properly, causing the food to just sit in the esophagus, and it ends up being regurgitated. This can lead to even more serious issues, such as aspiration pneumonia. Unfortunately there is no cure for Megaesophagus. Dogs are unable to have treats, eat, or drink, unless they are sitting in an elevated position. We learned, to properly care for dogs with Megaesophagus: switch their diet from dry food to wet food; feed them in an elevated position; and stay in an elevated position for about 15-20minutes after eating is best. An elevated eating stance allows their food to travel to the stomach by gravity. Some bigger dogs use step stools and most dogs use a Bailey Chair as an aide.
Prince was diagnosed with this at 8 months old. At the time that we purchased him, we had no clue of his condition, or the fact that we purchased from a puppy mill. Their website looked pretty good so we went to take a look at the puppies. We did notice in the beginning that Prince was not able to eat from a dog bowl because he would just regurgitate and all of his meal would be all over the floor. We figured that he just ate way too fast so we learned to just lay his kibble on a mat for him to slow down his eating and to take his time. June, 2013 Prince started to vomit throughout the day. He wouldn’t stop so we took him to the vet. They gave him some medication and sent us home. Later that evening Prince had to be taken to the Emergency due to Aspiration Pneumonia. He stayed there for 5 days. They did X-Rays that showed he had Megaesophagus.
It was a rough 5 days for us. We had no clue what Megaesophagus was. My husband and I did our research and came across a couple from a Megaesophagus Support Group on Facebook that built Bailey Chairs. Unfortunately shipping was too much to Canada so my husband built Prince’s chair. It was a rough 2 months for us but we eventually got the hang of things and Prince is perfect! We were learning together as a family and Prince eventually knew, in order to eat and drink water he needed to be in his chair for 20 minutes 3 times a day. So whenever he is hungry or thirsty he would go sit beside his chair to let us know. We also switched his diet to wet food with a little bit of dry kibble and water to keep him hydrated. He no longer is able to have anything unless he is in his chair or else he will regurgitate. Luckily he has only gotten sick a few times last year, and no aspiration pneumonia 🙂
Dealing with a dog with Megaesophagus is not the end of the world. He’s just like any other dog. He still eats, drinks, has treats, goes for walks, and LOVES to sleep. The only difference is he is spoon fed like a baby in a “dog high chair”.
If you aren interested on reading more about bulldogs with health problems from breeders check this article. “Ontario family feels cheated after saying it purchased bulldog with health problems.”
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Thank you to Michelle McCowen Photography for a wonderful collaboration.